We are all very thankful for Turkey this thanksgiving! Turkey continues to be delightful and tantalizing. We are currently in the small coastal village of Cirali. We are nestled between the magnificent Mt. Olympos to one side and ancient Roman ruins to the other. This Mt. Olympos is home of the
Yanartas or "burning rock". As legend tells it, the burning rock is the breath of the ferocious, epic beast, Chimaera. The Chimaera is part lion, part
goat and part snake. He was defeated on this mountain slope by the heroic Bellepheron from the back of the beloved Pegasus. What remains of the
Chimaera is the eternal flame that burns from crevices in the rock. These flames burn eternally and can even be viewed from sea. We reached the
flames just before sun set. Viewing the flames in darkness is magical and mystical. We were able to descend the mountain with the trusty help of
our MEC headlamps!
We left our last village, Kas, yesterday. We had a great stay there enjoying the village, the coast and our guest house. The owners of the guest
house made us feel so welcome and often shared with us typical Turkish food. They prepared an incredible bulgur dish one night. One of our
favorite Turkish delights is the Turkish pancake, Gozleme. We typically enjoy the pancakes stuffed with potato. Essentially a Gozleme is a gigantic,
thin pancake stuffed with a mixture, served hot with a salad. It is best enjoyed with a fresh orange juice or apple tea. Our crew agreed yesterday
that a fresh potato Gozleme is better than a perogy! Sorry Dauphin!
Our favorite activity in Kas was our sea kayak trip over the ancient "sunken" city of Semena. What remains of this city are a few ruins on each shore
and a bay in the middle. The city will lay forever under the Mediterranean sea. It was so interesting to spot the ruins that dotted the seascape; stairs, arches, waslls, baths and tombs. By afternoon, the waves had picked up quite a bit and Manas and I had quite a daring return to the shore!
Yesterday we drove past another interesting town known as Demre. What makes Demre so interesting and worthwhile to stop at is that it contains an ancient Byzantine church. The church features typical Byzantine architecture and fresco paintings. This church is so special because it is the church of Noel Baba or St. Nicholas.
Our beloved Santa Claus was born in Myra, Turkey in the 4th century and was well respected as a bishop here. St. Nicholas is also the patron saint of Russia and it is for this reason that thousands of Russians flock to these shores for a significant pilgrimage.
The visit to the ancient church was very interesting and Manas was left to wonder how this Turkish born saint ended up being a bearded fat guy in a red suit who now resides in the North Pole.
We will soon be heading inland to visit the much anticipated region of Capadocia. We have thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in ancient Lycia and
would love to come back soon. There is a 500 km trail system that covers this peninsula. It is called the Lycian Way and it is well marked. Along the trail you encounter ruins, villages, cliffs, mountain trails and beaches. We have walked on some of it and you can't help but to think of all the
people that followed that path before you.
Sorry that there are no photos for this entry, I am not having any luck uploading photos from this spot. For the time being, you will just have to
imagine the eternal flame of the chimaera, the ancient sunken city of Simena, the Byzantine church of Baba Noel and the smiles on our faces. We love you all and wish you a delightful thanksgiving. Who is eating Tofurkey in our honor this year???